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Wrong question. Try this one :

Does the Rise in Inequality Mean the End of Growth ?

I was under the impression that inequality was being driven by the knowledge economy rather than money attracting more money. ie that these days the "haves" are those with the skills to leverage accumulated human knowledge for profit rather than those with rich parents.

Growth being good for equality doesn't /feel/ like the whole story to me. It seems like growth is a special case of some type of change.

One thing I notice on a map of synchrotrons is Africa doesn't have one. Around a decade ago it was noted much aid and investment to Africa doesn't address African strengths and faculties and problems. So there is an underinvestment in R+D and it will otherwise take a while to grow R+D and subsequently develop African domestic industries. A synchrtron is used for a wide variety of research, both applied industrial and more basic longer-term. The R+D can be customized such as projects that focus upon malaria and sickle cell anemia and developing local GMO crops, ex).

Our synchrotron cost just under $200M and just over $10M/yr to finance. I think we should spearhead a synchrotron in Africa. It would take more time to educate freshmen college graduates on upwards, to specifically be ready to use the synchrotron upon graduation or whatever, but just like a virology lab, the number of researchers will steadily grow. We can afford this. I think Harper cut our foreign aid from $8B/yr in half. But this is a very smart way of investing in the developing world. Very high social ROI over decades as you are helping Africans solve their own problems.


Wrong question. Try this:

Does the Growth in Inequality Mean the End of Rise?

Marko more or less has it right. The very wealthy rentier class now sees fit to lock in their gains and become our pharonic overlords in truth. The rise of inequality has meant the end of growth.

"excess supply of assets"??? Assets mostly produce income (rent). As Pikety and Saez note, up to the mid C19, the bulk of assets were land. Land did not become "excess"; it's ownership became more and more concentrated except where state power deliberately set against this. Assets are heritable; income is not. So assets do not become excess, they are concentrated by inheritance into a smaller number of hands in the absence of countervailing arrangements, so producing greater inequalities.

@Peter T, I suspect you don't know what you're talking about. My personal experience (from southern India) has been that land gets subdivided among children, and eventually becomes unable to sustain a family. So people get other jobs.

I certainly think that growth does helps poor people, since the kids of most former field workers now do other work.


It's not about the desirability of growth. It's Livio's phrase "an excess of assets". A single person (say an older person in a large house) can swap some of their assets for income, but in the larger scheme of things the swap does not diminish the supply of assets - wealth does not decrease because of the swap. The work referenced noted that the large decline in the value of wealth relative to income happened where wars actually destroyed wealth. And wealth does tend to concentrate - I instanced land (thinking of western Europe), but yes, it does not always happen that way. Where claims on agricultural income are not tied to direct ownership (as in eg Ireland and Mughal India) then the claims may concentrate but the ownership fragment. As always, it's a political issue - what are the forces working against concentration of ownership of wealth?

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